IMAGE EXPO EXCLUSIVE: Azzarello & Risso Make "Moonshine"

As in years past, Image Expo opened with thrilling announcements, including one from a veteran comics team, although brand-new to Image Comics -- Brian Azzarrello and Eduardo Risso, the dynamic, Eisner award-winning creative team behind "100 Bullets."

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"Set during Prohibition, and deep in the backwoods of Appalachia, 'Moonshine' #1 tells the story of LOU PIRLO, a city-slick 'torpedo' sent from New York City to negotiate a deal with the best moonshiner in West Virginia, one HIRAM HOLT," the title's official description reads. "Lou figures it for milk run -- how hard could it be to set-up moonshine shipments from a few ass-backward hillbillies? What Lou doesn't figure on is that Holt is just as cunning as ruthless as any NYC crime boss and Lou is in way over his pin-striped head. Because not only will Holt do anything to protect his illicit booze operation, he'll stop at nothing to protect a much darker family secret... a bloody, supernatural secret that must never see the light of day... or better still, the light of the full moon."

Horror and gangsters set during Prohibition? CBR News couldn't wait to hear more, so we spoke, albeit briefly, with the creators about the series.

CBR News: Brian and Eduardo, this is the first series you've done with Image -- how did it get here? And what are your hopes for the series?

Eduardo Risso: We thought it was time to make the way ourselves. As always, we'll try to do our best so the hope is to get not only the core "Azzarello/Risso" fan, but also to a reach a broader Image Comics fan.

Brian Azzarello: We could have taken "Moonshine" anywhere; I don't make the rules. That said, Eric [Stephenson] and I had been talking. The opportunity was there and so was the desire. Eric really made it hard not to say that Image was our home for "Moonshine."

What has the learning curve been like for you?  Has your style of working changed?

Risso: I think the long series allowed us to learn a lot, and "100 Bullets" gave us that opportunity. Any change in my style depends on many things, but it's whatever fits the project. It's important to me to make style changes from time to time; it makes me feel alive as an artist. For instance, with "Moonshine," I'm doing all my own coloring. That's a new development!

Azzarello: We've been telling stories for a long time; our curve straightened out long ago. I'm not going to give you a glimpse behind the curtain Dorothy, but trust me, it works.

The description of "Moonshine" sounds excellent -- a classic gangster tale with a horror twist. Where are you drawing inspiration from?

Risso: Being honest, from nothing. I need to read the script to go forward and I never know in advance what will happen, is a kind of arrangement done with Brian since our starting.

Azzarello: Huh. That's interesting, because I draw my inspiration from what I see from you, Eduardo. Sounds very chicken and egg.

What are some of the classic gangster and horror elements we will see?

Azzarello: We have all the bad ones here. Tommy-gun shoot-outs, molls, hunchbacks...

Risso: That period reflected, trying to be very respectful to the look and feel of ordinary daily life.

Since it's set during Prohibition, in closing -- what's your favorite cocktail? 

Will Dennis (Editor): Gin & Tonic. Hendricks. Lime, not cucumbers. Cucumbers are the worst.

Azzarello: Molotov.

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